Back when I was a kid, “My dad is better than your dad” was usually referred to as a comeback line in the schoolyard. Usually it would be recited by one of your buddies when you failed at a particularly daunting task such as catching a ball, blowing a layup or swinging and missing at strike three.
Schoolyard Buddy “Hey borgo, you suck! A girl could’ve done better than that!”
Borgo: “Hey Schoolyard Buddy! Yeah, well you suck too!”
Schoolyard Buddy:”Yeah, well at least my dad is better than your dad!”
Unfortunately in my instance that was too often the case and the argument would end right there. But I’m not here to talk about that. This runs deeper than a bruised ego.
In today’s world of reality based television My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad is a new game show on NBC that pits father against father in effort to prove just who the best dad is. Naturally they are assisted along the way by little Johnny or little Suzie as their adoring wife exhorts them on from the safety of the studio audience.
The show (if you can call it that) is usually broken down into four distinct categories.
My Dad Is Stronger!
We all know that a true test of a man's character lies in his ability to demonstrate his prowess for destroying things. In the episode that I saw each father (of which there are four) was given two minutes to smash a desk with a sledgehammer. Sounds easy you say? Well, it is. The hard part was smashing it into small enough chunks that had to fit through a hole in another box. The winner of this gladiator like contest was the father who had amassed the most weight in his box. I’m thinking Little Johnny or little Suzie usually sit this one out due to flying chunks of wood and the possibility of getting a splinter.
My Dad Is Faster!
In this round it’s all about speed and agility. Last night’s “episode” featured something they called the “Spinning Wheels of Death!” Much to my disappointment it turned out to be a misnomer. Nobody died and nobody even got hurt! The contest called for each dad to climb upon four wheels that each spun at faster speeds. As they were spinning they had to reach up and pluck a hula hoop that was suspended above them. From there, they had to hurl said hula hoop at their offspring and make them land over their head. To complicate matters, each spinning wheel was surrounded by a moat of goop they would fall in if they somehow lost their balance. Riveting stuff! The father/child duo that ended up with the lowest score was booted off the show. For their efforts they were rewarded with an Xbox 360.
My Dad Is Smarter!
This round is all about brains over brawn. A question along the lines of “What color is a stop sign?” is presented with four choices. You’d think that’d be easy enough for an adult to figure out but wait! It’s not the father who gets to ring in! The child must do it. This only adds to the lack of suspense since the dad gets to answer the question anyway. The first two sets of the father/child combination to score three correct answers move on to the next round. The pair who are eliminated also receive an Xbox 360. (Apparently there was a surplus of those things)
My Dad Is Braver!
By now the tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. In this last test, the remaining two fathers are called upon to break windows by shooting rolled up newspapers out of an air gun. Each window ranges anywhere between 100 and 500 hundred points depending on the degree of difficulty in breaking it. In an ultimate display of teamwork, their offspring is charged with loading the newspapers into the gun. Sounds easy? Au contraire! The task is complicated since the team that is shooting at the windows is having them defended by the other father who can swat away the onslaught of newspapers using a tennis racket. The team with the highest amount of points wins. Both the winners and the losers get (you guessed it!) an Xbox 360 but the winners are further compensated by the addition of a mountain bike. They also get the opportunity to move on to the “bonus round”.
My Dad Knows More About Me!
Finally, the surviving duo now gets to play for some real prizes. Cash! A grand prize is awarded if the father can correctly answer six questions about their kid. For each correct answer they get 10 grand with a 50 grand max. If they get two wrong answers the round is over and they get to keep the cash they’ve won up to that point.
Amazingly, no one has yet to run the table and win the fifty large.
Folks, presently this show airs on Monday evenings at 8:00PM EST. If I had something that remotely resembled a life, I wouldn’t have watched it. I can’t say for sure whether I’ll tune in next week but if I do, please feel free to put a bullet through my head and take me out of my misery.